Article

Clinical Child and Family Psychology Review

, Volume 15, Issue 2, pp 144-162

First online:

Family Factors in the Development, Treatment, and Prevention of Childhood Anxiety Disorders

  • Kelly L. DrakeAffiliated withDivision of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry, Department of Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences, The Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine Email author 
  • , Golda S. GinsburgAffiliated withDivision of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry, Department of Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences, The Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine

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Abstract

It is now widely accepted that anxiety disorders run in families, and current etiological models have proposed both genetic and environmental pathways to anxiety development. In this paper, the familial role in the development, treatment, and prevention of anxiety disorders in children is reviewed. We focus on three anxiety disorders in youth, namely, generalized, separation, and social anxiety as they often co-occur both at the symptom and disorder level and respond to similar treatments. We begin by presenting an overview of a broad range of family factors associated with anxiety disorders. Findings from these studies have informed intervention and prevention strategies that are discussed next. Throughout the paper we shed light on the challenges that plague this research and look toward the future by proposing directions for much needed study and discussing factors that may improve clinical practice and outcomes for affected youth and their families.

Keywords

Children Anxiety Family Parenting Treatment Prevention